Guy Martin's Spitfire

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Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby SaintedAunt » 07 Oct 2014, 20:00

On Channel 4 on Sunday coming at 7.30, a 90-minute programme called Guy Martin's Spitfire, I quote their blurb:

"Guy Martin joins the two-year restoration of a Spitfire that was buried in a French beach for decades, and tells the Boy's Own-style story of its pilot, Squadron Leader Geoffrey Stephenson."

Sounds promising, especially to Guy Martin fans. For anybody who has never heard of him, he is a colourful biker, well known at the IoM TT with a great (I think :D ) personality. He had a miraculous escape from death in a TT race when he crashed and his bike went up in flames a few years ago.
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby Fairblue » 07 Oct 2014, 20:06

Mr FB follows his exploits and he drew this to my attention. I'm looking forward to it.
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby SaintedAunt » 07 Oct 2014, 21:33

When he came for TT fortnight, he used to stay all by himself, in a motor caravan on a beach - or so it was said :lol:
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby tiffinata » 07 Oct 2014, 23:29

Pardon my ignorance. TT?
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby Fairblue » 08 Oct 2014, 00:05

tiffinata wrote:Pardon my ignorance. TT?


TT fortnight is when the Isle of Man hosts a motorcycle race known as the Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy). It's for two weeks and is said to be the ultimate challenge in motorcycle racing. The whole island is taken over for the event. The races are run on the public roads. I've given you the Wikipedia link but if you Google it you'll get a mountain of stuff. Anyone who professes to be a motorcycle fan wants to be there.


http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Man_TT
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby SaintedAunt » 08 Oct 2014, 09:03

You have to live there to get the real experience!!! An Island population of some 80,000 people (some go off island and rent their houses at vast prices) can be swelled by as much as 10,000 motorbikes (fans of all ages) and that means a lot more than 10,000 visitors because some come two to a bike, some don't have bikes but just come… And they come from all over the world.

The IoM is normally a fairly sleepy place, but in TT fortnight it comes alive and really buzzes. Everywhere you go (and ordinary people do still have to go places!) you are 'escorted' by gangs of motorbikes, 99.99% of whom behave impeccably. The 0.01% who don't are usually mad locals. The course goes through the centre of the largest town and the second largest, innumerable villages and over the mountain road. There were so many accidents on the mountain road - bikers taking advantage of NO speed limit, some forgetting that in Britain we drive on the left - that a few years ago they made it one-way for the duration of the festival fortnight! Then there is Mad Sunday, the middle Sunday of the fortnight, when traditionally anybody who has a bike of any sort does the TT course (and you wouldn't want to be travelling in the opposite direction). And there are the Red Arrows, the fireworks, the funfair, the beer tent… It's just wonderful.

We used to walk up a valley about half a mile from us to one of the best places for watching the racing, the Gooseneck, just above the Ramsey hairpin bends and just as the bikers sweep round to the start of the mountain road proper. We used to sit on the 'hedge' which was just a bank, with our legs dangling over the edge as the solos and side-cars roared past only a few feet away. But they stopped that and became more strict after a bike came off the road and killed a watcher.

It can be dangerous. Holidaying bikers have fatal accidents sometimes and competitors get killed sometimes, but then on any Bank Holiday in England the accident rate is undoubtedly worse. And the best thing of all is that people are so courteous and friendly.
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby Fairblue » 08 Oct 2014, 09:11

Thank you for this insight, SA. Mr FB has been a number of times as a spectator and once as a team manager and told me everything from a biker's point of view, so it's always nice to get a local's view. 8-)
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby SaintedAunt » 08 Oct 2014, 09:17

I didn't realise he was such a fan :D
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby Fairblue » 08 Oct 2014, 09:22

SaintedAunt wrote:I didn't realise he was such a fan :D

Oh yes. Only our summer work in Tuscany put paid to his visits. He might be there next year.
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby kylie_koyote » 08 Oct 2014, 11:14

some forgetting that in Britain we drive on the left


Erm, this seems like a mistake one rarely lives long enough not to repeat.
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby Spitfire666 » 08 Oct 2014, 13:49

Fairblue wrote: it's always nice to get a local's view. 8-)

It also comes into Biggles Flies North-West which can be found in the fan fic section :yay:
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby Fairblue » 08 Oct 2014, 13:50

Spitfire666 wrote:
Fairblue wrote: it's always nice to get a local's view. 8-)

It also comes into Biggles Flies North-West which can be found in the fan fic section :yay:

I'd forgotten about that, S666. Time for a re-read, I think.
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby Spitfire666 » 08 Oct 2014, 14:57

Fairblue wrote:
Spitfire666 wrote:It also comes into Biggles Flies North-West which can be found in the fan fic section :yay:

I'd forgotten about that, S666. Time for a re-read, I think.

I love having fanfic that deserves second, (and more) readings. So like Johns...!
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby tiffinata » 08 Oct 2014, 21:42

Thanks for the TT info.
I'm not a fan of motorbikes, I'm afraid, so you won't have any competition from me for a seat.
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby SaintedAunt » 13 Oct 2014, 09:53

I watched this last night and enjoyed it. Was this Spitfire, P9374, the one relocated from Duxford to America?

I went a-googling to try and answer my own question but mostly all I got was lovely YouTube clips of the P9374 flying! The real thing - no television presenters, no music, just the sound of the Spitfire. So - can anybody tell me, was P9374 owned by people in the States who were willing to pay a fortune to have it brought back to life, but then wanted it back home? You could hardly blame him/them if so, and it was a wonderful thing that they made possible, for it to fly again.

It was interesting that the landing gear had to be hand-pumped. I had wondered what the pilot was doing when coming into land. Also interesting that it was the original Spitfire as originally designed, before the over-700 modifications were made to it throughout the war.
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby tiffinata » 13 Oct 2014, 10:25

'....you cannot flout Nature with impunity. Treat Nature with respect, and she will tolerate you, even encourage you; but treat her with contempt, and your days are numbered.' Hits the Trail
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 13 Oct 2014, 10:46

While Googling the nos. I have discovered there is indeed a Supermarine Spitfire 'registry' website, hope this helps:

http://www.warbirdregistry.org/spitregi ... p9374.html

EDIT: Just saw your post too Tiff. :yay:
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby SaintedAunt » 13 Oct 2014, 10:59

tiffinata wrote:not sure if this helps?
http://www.guymartinracing.co.uk/category/spitfire/

It doens't answer the question as this is just a snippet about the programme but it might be a way in for anyone who can't get Channel 4 replays. And in fact there are lots of online links to this Spitfire rebuild and some wonderful YouTube clips of it flying.

All you have to do is google P9374 and there is masses :D
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby SaintedAunt » 13 Oct 2014, 11:09

OzBiggles1963 wrote:While Googling the nos. I have discovered there is indeed a Supermarine Spitfire 'registry' website, hope this helps:

It gives the history but it doesn't say where it is now. I did see one website where Mark One Partners were offering it for sale
http://www.markonepartners.co.uk/spitfire-i
but I couldn't find a date. This site is the good for information about it generally. But I have yet to find out where it is now. I am still hunting!

Edit: update - maybe it is still at Duxford!

http://www.globalaviationresource.com/v ... -together/

And it appears to have flown at Shuttleworth this year

http://www.aeroresource.co.uk/articles/ ... worth-laa/
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby Fairblue » 13 Oct 2014, 11:19

After a bit of lateral thinking and a bit of Googling I can say that this machine was not the one shipped to the US from Duxford. That Spit was the subject of a TV Series 'Monster Moves', which follows huge items being shipped across the globe. The programme aired in the UK on 12th April 2011 and in Australia on 7th May 2011, far too early to be this Spitfire.

http://www.channel5.com/shows/monster-m ... ssage=true

But as to where this Spitfire is at the moment I haven't a clue. I'm afraid.

Edited to add: I've just seen the separate thread about the relocation of the Spit!
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby SaintedAunt » 13 Oct 2014, 12:42

Fairblue wrote:Edited to add: I've just seen the separate thread about the relocation of the Spit!

Which Spit?

I am glad the Mk 1 hasn't gone to the States yet. I wonder how much the company wants for it… Must be a huge amount of money. The propeller alone cost a six figure sum.
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby Tommy Smith » 13 Oct 2014, 17:32

Think it's still at Duxford, owned by a firm registered in the Caymen Islands and 2 million, but might be wrong.
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby kylie_koyote » 13 Oct 2014, 17:47

Wow! That's a hefty sum.
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Re: Guy Martin's Spitfire

Postby SaintedAunt » 13 Oct 2014, 23:26

It is hefty sum, but really when you consider what they spent on it... They had to get the parts specially made, of the original materials and to the original design, and it took years of work. And whilst it isn't unique, there are very few original design Spitfires in flying condition.
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